The biggest dating trend for 2022 is in and it is alcohol-free dating. The dating scene is increasingly being liberated from alcohol.
Hinge, a dating app, did a survey to uncover 2022 summer dating trends. A majority of the single app users want alcohol-free dating or what hinge calls “zero-proof dating.”
Singles have different reasons to liberate their dating experience from alcohol:
- One reason is that being sober helps to create more real connections compared to when intoxicated with alcohol.
- Another reason is that being intoxicated on a first date creates a bad impression.
- Two out of three hinge users say it’s a deal-breaker if their date consumes a lot of alcohol on the first date.
This is a positive trend, considering previous data which found casual dating to be linked with a pervasive alcohol norm.
The growing sober and sober curious movement
This new dating trend fits in with the wider sober and sober curious movement happening across most of the western world.
Primarily driven by the young generation this sober movement is creating more inclusive alcohol-free spaces in countries that used to be entrenched in a pervasive alcohol norm. This trend is also increasing environments and choices of alcohol-free products and is even pushing large alcohol industry multinationals to create no- and low-alcohol product lines.
Young people are trailblazing a new path. They are breaking down age-old alcohol norms in their countries and normalizing the alcohol-free way of living as the lifestyle of the 21st century.
Already in 2019 a study reported youth in Finland and Australia were shifting to the alcohol-free way of life. The study found the young generation are using similar mechanisms in maintaining their alcohol-free way of life and to manage the potential exclusion by peers who use alcohol. Youth who are choosing to live alcohol-free manage the possible stigma and social exclusion that comes from their decision not simply by hiding their sober lifestyle, but also actively redefining social situations and practices.
Growing interesting in social norms and spaces liberated from alcohol
Both Google and Disney+ are part of the story about the growing demand for alcohol-free spaces and norms.
For instance, when users were asked what advertising categories they would most like to opt out of, alcohol and gambling ranked the highest. Accordingly, Google introduced the option for users to opt out of seeing several categories of ads, including alcohol.
Similarly, The Walt Disney Corporation has announced that Disney+ will launch a new, cheaper advertising-based video on demand (AVOD) tier later in the year. The company has banned alcohol companies from advertising on this new ad-supported tier – to ensure a family and child friendly environment.